This week the Minnesota Senate passed a bill that would dedicate $2.73 billion to the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund. The allocation would pay back the federal government for the money the state borrowed to pay unemployment claims during the pandemic, as well as replenish the fund. The end result of this allocation would reduce tax rates on businesses in Minnesota if it were signed into law.
While everyone agrees regarding its importance, some legislators wanted to see this proposal paired with an expansion of unemployment insurance for some school employees paid for by the state as well as $1 billion in bonus pay for frontline workers. Under the frontline workers bill, qualifying workers would receive a check of up to $1,500 from the State of Minnesota as a recognition of their essential work throughout the pandemic. Both amendments offered by Democrats were rejected from being considered by Senate Republicans.
The full House has not acted on bonus pay for frontline workers or replenishing the UI Trust Fund. However, House Democrats have been clear that payments to frontline workers are a priority as well infusing money into the UI Trust Fund. (S.F. 2677, S.F. 2650)